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June 2024


Platform(s): PC
Genre: Adventure
Publisher: Vibedy
Developer: Jardar Solli
Release Date: 2025


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PC Preview - 'Seablip'

by Chris "Atom" DeAngelus on May 17, 2024 @ 6:00 a.m. PDT

Seablip is an open-world RPG/adventure where you fight as a pirate, upgrade your ship, dig for treasure, fish, or investigate why the polar ice is melting.

At first blush, Seablip seems like it has a lot in common with a title like Stardew Valley. The game starts on Seablip Island, where your grandfather leaves you some valuable items, including your very first ship. Seablip is your home base, and you can build your own house, go fishing, or grow your own crops. It's similar to the warm-and-comfy style of farming simulators that have become so popular, and if you've played any of those, you have an idea of what Seablip is like.

What separates Seablip from something like Stardew is, well, piracy. You can leave your comfortable island home and head out into the wild blue yonder. This puts you onto a charming overworld, where you can sail around (mostly) freely. In the ocean, you'll encounter shipwrecks, new islands and shops to visit, new places to explore, and other ships that could be friend or foe. You'll eventually gather a whole crew of pirates, each with their own distinct skills and abilities.

Running into an enemy on the ocean will change the game to a side-scrolling combat system that's vaguely reminiscent of something like FTL. Your ship has multiple functions that need to be staffed. Having someone at the helm makes you move and dodge faster, having someone below decks can mitigate damage, and you definitely need someone to load and fire your cannons during combat.

Cannons come in a variety of types and sizes, ranging from simple heavy iron projectiles to gas or fire cannons. Shots take a while to load, but once loaded, you can target parts of the enemy's ship. Take out the helm, and attacks are way easier to hit. Take out the person loading the cannon, and you can buy precious moments to fight back. It's even possible to wipe out the crew and capture the ships, allowing you to loot them or take them for your own.

While being a pirate might be all you want from the game, there's also a plot you can follow and multiple factions you can befriend (or fight). You might choose to be a heroic pirate who only raids the dastardly and evil, or you can side with evil corporations and aim for the biggest profit possible. There's even a larger overarching plot involving the mysteries of the ocean, complete with various dangerous bosses to fight. However, the goal of the game seems to primarily be open-world adventuring, and there doesn't seem any huge pressure to rush through anything.

Seablip is still in Early Access, but what it has so far is very promising. The simple-but-addictive loop of a farming/crafting game, combined with an open ocean to explore and FTL-style battles, has all the makings of a massively addictive game. Good pirate titles are few and far between, and I'm looking forward to seeing how Seablip develops as it gets closer to its release date.

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